February 16, 2017

AHCA Meeting Minutes
February 16, 2017

Location: Arlington Baptist Church

President Lander Allin called the meeting to order at 7:05. There were more than 50 people in attendance.

Arlington Presbyterian Church (Gilliam Place) – Redevelopment to start this summer. APAH has reached out to AHCA. Pete Neubauer has agreed to serve as a liaison. APAH will be at our May meeting. There will also be a meeting with the community – directly located properties.

Food Star Development Project – Kickoff in Barcroft Neighborhood April 6th. AH and Douglas Park are both invited. There will be an announcement close to the 6th.

Alcova Heights Park Clean Up – Possible dates May 7th or 14th. Sara Uzel indicated that Lauren will coordinate the park clean up event.

Treasurer Report – Budget – Lander Allin reported on the budget which reflects approximately $2395 in expenses.

Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO)

John Snyder President CPRO – Update of what’s going on on the Pike and what CPRO does. He lives in Douglas Park, formerly Alcova Heights. CPRO has an all-volunteer board. CPRO is a coalition of businesses, civic associations, and property owners working together toward the common goals of the Pike. There are at least 108 different languages spoken along the Pike. Mission to connect and champion business and community along the Pike.

Food Star site is about a $130M investment. CPRO informs public, business, organizations and communicates what those stakeholders would like to see.

History of CPRO and Columbia Pike Planning – Highlights

Form Based Code (commercial centers), 2003
Streetscape Planning Task Force, 2004
Neighborhood Areas Plan, 2012
Neighborhoods Form Based Code, 2013=

There have been 2 site plan-based development projects (Penrose Square) and the Littman Building – there was pushback on the Littman Building and that project didn’t move forward.

Neighborhoods Plan- all 6300 affordable housing units on the Pike now are to be preserved, that is in the plan.

8 projects have been completed along the Pike. Parking lots have seen the greatest changeover.

Replaced car dealership, strip malls, parking lots, vacant lots, gas station, electrical substation.

Zero housing was lost during that.

Commercial Areas Development – 5 more projects have been approved:

Rappahannock Site – also residential, also on hold right now

Auximite Village – in Douglas Park behind where Dunkin Donuts is on Highland St., construction is paused – Ethiopian Development Group

APC/Gilliam Place – construction start Summer 2017

Food Star Site – construction start June 2017 – will have a park in front (meadow, water features) – anchor tenant is Harris Teeter (emphasis on prepared food in front and then competitively priced groceries toward the center and rear).

Buchanan Street – under construction (condos)

Neighborhoods Areas Development

Columbia Hills Project – off of Frederick Street, in one of the parking lots of one of APAHs other projects – new affordable housing

Wellington Project just approved – will preserve existing and will add 401 market rate apartments and preserve 105 as committed affordable

Carver Place (Arlington View) – large luxury townhouses – under construction

As far as we know, there aren’t any other plans in the works. People are taking a wait and see approach with further growth on the Pike.

Street Reconstruction

West of 4 Mile Run Bridge to the County line – next phase to go

Then Taylor St to George Mason (CPRO would like to pair this with Food Star Construction to minimize periods of disruption)

George Mason to Oakland

The East End (to Wash Blvd)

Lastly, the Far East End from bridge to Arlington National Cemetery – still discussions going on.

This is undergrounding of utilities, standardization of sidewalks, parallel parking, medians, etc.

 

CPRO Plan

Now that buildings are coming and here, how do we ensure we have a good environment for business. 1) Marketing Study – who actually lives here? CPRO would like Pike residents to eat, shop, etc. on the Pike and attract people from other parts of Arlington.

CPRO Events

Sunday Farmers’ Market (Another? )
Movie Nights Penrose Square & Arlington Mill
Blues Festival 6/17
Fall Wine and Beer Fest
More Events and Festivals

http://www.columbia-pike.org you can sign up for the CPRO Newsletter

 

State Department Project

Overview
Discussion
Vote – Must Have Paid Dues to the Association
Allowed 2 votes per household, you have to be present to vote.

This is solely a decision to explore this subject further.

Overview

Last summer State Department told AHCA that they are adding to the site. There was a meeting. There was a draft environmental summary sent out for comment before Christmas. There was a LOT of public comment. Rep Beyer’s office and Brian with the County got involved.

The State Department can do as they wish with their property. Brian and Noah had some success in meeting with State/GSA.

The Bike Path will close in August. That trail will go away. The County Manager’s office is interested in helping us explore new path Quincy to XXX.

The County has put $4M in CIP for FY18 for Alcova Heights Park – comprehensive improvements to the park, bathrooms, basketball court, park structures, etc. (starts July 1st 2017) there is some money there that could be used for upgrading that path. How far will $4M go? We don’t know.

Force Protection – they are going to install 9ft fences along their perimeter within footings. Excavating along the whole stretch of that. They will be building a fence. They are open to possibility of leaving the fence where it now lies and putting the fence inside the perimeter enough to leave a gap where a path could go. This is a one-time opportunity. Once this option is gone, it is gone for good.

Lander showed a graphic depicting a rough line for the path. We do not have any details at this time. We’re going to discuss this and then we’ll vote. If we decide to go forward, representatives will provide plan for doing this and then we will come back to community for feedback/vote.

Background – State Department has made lots of promises to the community before that it has failed to meet. State may deed the exterior perimeter land over to the County which would give us more input in the future than we’ve had.

Discussion: (8:10pm NLT 8:50pm)

Approximately 30 residents spoke about the State Department site changes, the possible placement of a path, and other concerns. Residents expressed concerns about placement of the path including: crime, vagrancy, emergency access, entry and egress points, limited access for those adjacent to the path, traffic, path maintenance, privacy. Residents also expressed interest in exploring the placement of the path to connect the upper and lower portions of the neighborhood, sustain and expand access to the park and parts of the neighborhood, to provide North-South pedestrian/bike passage, to provide alternative routes to current and proposed schools and County facilities, possibly provide a buffer between the neighborhood and the State Department fence, possibly preserving “the sledding hill”, and to sustain the engagement by County and Federal contacts who may be able to assist in addressing concerns with the State Department site changes.

This discussion also surfaced information about previous or on-going criminal and undesirable activity in the neighborhood that had in some cases been reported and had not been reported in other cases. This included incidents of lascivious behavior in parked cars, drug deals from cars, a reference to congregation in “the caulderon,” and vagrancy.

Proposed options would come back to AHCA for an association vote at that point whether or not to take any particular action or position.

Vote

The AHCA Resolution was shown on screen:

The Alcova Heights Citizens’ Association agrees to further explore the option of building a trail along the perimeter of the State Department property between South Quincy Street and 3rd Street South.  This would be done with the clear understanding and acknowledgement that there are a number of concerns that must be addressed to mitigate the impact on the adjoining property owners including:  safety, lighting, landscaping, long-term control of the land along the perimeter and retention of the existing fence where it is.  Further, a committee of residents representing the full neighborhood would be created to work with the State Department, Congressman Beyer’s office and the County Manager’s office to gather information and develop options.  A vote to proceed with any option will be taken by the Association ONLY after the process is complete and the options are known and understood.

YEA, In Favor, CONTINUE DISCUSSION 46
NAY, Oppose, STOP DISCUSSION 17

The motion passes. AHCA will be creating a committee. They would like to keep the committee small, about 7 people.

Laura Cooke suggested we advance and collect information to seriously address pre-existing crime concerns that were voiced in this meeting. We will collect info, engage, and talk with County and police about these crime concerns.

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